M: My name is Mel Burgos. I’m from the Boogie Down Bronx. I’m a Management Analyst for the Department of Health and Human Services and also a Blogger.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
M: I had my first relaxer at 13 and transitioned for about a year, so that would be about – A LOOOONG TIME AGO. I also big chopped after a horrible hairdresser experience in 2010 so I’m currently rockin’ 3 ½ years of growth. As corny as it may sound, I decided to stop relaxing my hair because of Mel B from the Spice Girls! I know I know BUT I was actually transitioning at the time and my hair was pretty long with the worst straight ends ever and once I saw that video with her jumping up and down singing “Tell me whacha want, whacha really really want” I cut my hair JUST like hers the next day.
How would you describe your texture?
M: I have never characterized my curls because I have different textures all over my head, but I can say that despite all the volume, my strands are fine and are prone to breakage.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
M: I love wash and go’s! I have tried two strand twists, braid outs and even bantu knots, but those styles don’t work for me anymore because of my haircut.
My go to products:
Wash: Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Hydrating Soak Shampoo or the Beyond Gentle & Sulfate‐Free Wash. If my hair is really dirty, I do my first wash with Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap (undiluted).
Condition/Detangle: Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Knot‐Out Conditioner.
Deep Condition: Nubian Heritage Grow & Strengthen Treatment Masque or Motions Naturally You Deep Conditioning Masque.
Style: Sebastian Potion 9 Leave‐In Treatment and Ecostyler Gel (clear).
Seal: Josie Maran 100% argan oil (you can find it at Sephora), 100% grapeseed oil, or 100% jojoba oil (I normally get these from Whole Foods), Ella’s Concoctions Holy Grail Oil and Quickie Oil (www.ellasconcoctions.com).
What does wash day look like for you?
M: It’s pretty much an all‐day event. I try to wash my hair at least every 5 days because it gets really itchy and smelly by then. I also steam my hair on my wash day using my Huetiful Steamer. My hair has a tendency to be very dry and steaming has made a significant difference in how moisturized my hair is versus sitting underneath a dryer with conditioner. After I wash and condition, I apply my styling product combo. I then diffuse my hair with my hair flipped over to the front under low heat for no more than 15 minutes, and I seal my ends with argan, grapeseed, or jojoba oil. I also started using Ella’s Concoctions Holy Grail Oil and Quickie Oil — I am a huge fan. All of the ingredients used are raw and organic, so they are safe to even use on children — plus they smell absolutely yummy!
Describe your favorite go‐to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
M: Simple, a high messy ponytail with my ends tucked.
How do you combat shrinkage?
M: I don’t really fight my hair too often, but I do put my hair up in a ponytail (with my bangs out) while I’m getting ready, and it stretches out my curls quite a bit.
Tell us about your hair color?
M: My colorist Sharmica Drayton does it, and she is located at Mystic Salon in Washington DC. I knew I wanted color and did not want to bleach my hair, so she customized two colors to create some dimension and just applied it to the ends of my hair. I don’t have a clue what the colors are, but I know the dyes were from Aveda. The color has changed my texture. It’s slightly dryer than the rest of my hair, but thank goodness for my steamer.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require special care and attention?
M: My problem areas are the back of my hair and along my hairline.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
M: Deep conditioning and using a satin pillowcase at night to protect my hair.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
M: Using a comb and drying my hair with a towel. Cotton t‐shirts work best for me.